Tag: Forced Unionization

Over 44,000 Healthcare Workers Flee Leftist SEIU After Michigan Ends Forced Unionization

SEIU Membership, Revenues Plummet After State Ends ‘Underhanded Scheme’ – Fox News

A Michigan branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union saw its membership and revenues plummet after the reversal of a measure that forced caregivers tending to friends or relatives to be members with their dues paid by those they cared for.

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More than 44,000 home-based healthcare workers parted ways with SEIU Healthcare Michigan after learning they did not have to join the union or pay dues, according to reports the union filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. Thousands of the employees were allegedly forced into the union under a plan the SEIU successfully lobbied for that classified even unpaid family members caring for their elderly parents as “home health care workers.” Dues were then automatically collected from the care recipients’ Medicare or Medicaid checks.

“Family members were told they were public employees,” Patrick Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, a Michigan-based policy group, told FoxNews.com. “They are not public employees and this was not proper.

“It was an underhanded scheme to get these people in [the union],” he added.

The measure, which counted the home healthcare recipient as an employer and the caregiver as an employee, was adopted during the administration of Demcratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, but abolished by Republicans including current Gov. Rick Snyder, who was elected in 2012. His election coincided with the state’s vote to end forced unionization by approving a right-to-work ballot measure. Snyder subsequently signed a bill that ended the SEIU’s due collection scheme.

Wright’s organization estimates that the SEIU reaped nearly $35 million from Michigan’s elderly and disabled from 2006 to last year. Of some 59,000 residents classified as home-based caregivers, about 80 percent stopped paying when they learned they did not have to.

“What the numbers show is that these people never wanted to be in the union in the first place,” Wright said.

Requests for comment to SEIU Healthcare Michigan were not immediately returned.

Some of those charged under the prior scheme are suing to get their money back.

Retired Detroit police officer Robert Haynes and his wife Patricia say they were forced into the union after they were considered public employees because they cared for two adult children with cerebral palsy in their home.

“Our children’s case worker had come for their usual six-month visit and he had told us that we were now part of the union,” Haynes told FoxNews.com. “I was like, ‘What?’”

But Haynes and her husband weren’t concerned.

“I didn’t think much about it,” she said. “Then my husband heard the news that the law was reversed and we realized they were doing nothing for us.”

Haynes said that every month, $30 was deducted from their children’s Medicare payments, and, while it did not break their bank, they objected on principle.

“They couldn’t get me a raise, they couldn’t get me more vacation time and they certainly did nothing to improve my children’s care,” she said. “I’d hate to say it, but in my opinion, they were stealing.”

Haynes also says that they are also hoping to help others who had to pay dues.

“We are not anti-union. I just don’t understand why we were forced to join because I have two disabled kids,” she said. “That we were told that we had to join a union just because we chose to keep our kids at home to care for them.”

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Judge Shuts Down Minnesota Governor’s Forced Unionization Of Independent Day-Care Workers

Judge Shuts Down Dayton’s Forced Unionization Of Independent Day-Care Workers – Hot Air

When last we left Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and his attempt to shanghai independent day-care workers into a public-employee union by executive order, a judge had temporarily halted the effort pending further review, albeit with plenty of expressions of deep skepticism over Dayton’s authority to proceed. Yesterday, Judge Dale Lindman made it official, ruling that Dayton exceeded his constitutional authority and violated the prerogative of the legislature, nullifying the upcoming unionization election:

Judge Dale Lindman declared Dayton’s order, issued Nov. 15, ”null and void because it is an unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature’s constitutional right to create and or amend laws and as such is a violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine.”

The decision was a victory for anti-union child-care providers and conservative groups who opposed an attempt to unionize in-home child-care providers. It was a defeat for Dayton, who argued that the providers had a right to decide through an election whether they wanted to be represented by a union.

Lindman’s order ruled that the elections ordered by Dayton cannot occur.

“The proper method to proceed is for the matter to be brought to the Legislature,” Lindman’s order reads. He argued that Dayton’s order is an attempt “to circumvent the Legislative process and unionize child care providers by executive order, rather than by adhering to a valid Legislative process.”

Dayton attempted to bypass the state legislature in this effort by declaring through executive order that day-care centers that indirectly receive state aid through their clients are in effect public-sector workplaces – a definition not found in law or in legislative intent. In fact, as Gary Gross points out, it arguably contravenes state law. That way, Dayton could order an election that would allow his union allies to force their way into day-care workplaces, including many independent operations, and start extracting dues on a massive basis. To no one’s great surprise, day-care operators and workers found this rather offensive and sued in Ramsey County (the seat of the state capital) to bring an end to Dayton’s extreme union-expansion project.

I use the word extreme for a couple of reasons. First, it fits; had Dayton succeeded in his imposition of public-worker status, the precedent established would have been so broad as to threaten the very notion of a private-sector workforce altogether. Where would the limits have been? Fast-food restaurants that take food-stamp debit cards? Medical care facilities that accept Medicaid patients? Just as in ObamaCare at the federal level, it would be difficult if not impossible to find a limitation of power in that kind of precedent.

Second, it was Mark Dayton who used the word extreme to describe the right-to-work referendum currently stalled in the Minnesota legislature. Dayton and his union allies, who very nearly got a big payday from Dayton’s abuse of power, consider it extreme to allow people the choice of whether to join a union while remaining employed, but not extreme to force independent babysitters into unions simply because some of their clients are on state assistance. A poll taken at the time shows the right-to-work referendum to be so extreme that it’s supported by Minnesota voters by more than a 2-1 margin (55/24), and has majority or plurality support among all demographics – even Democrats and self-described liberals.

And yet, the state GOP seems intent on hiding from this issue by bottling up the bill that would put the referendum on the ballot in November. Why? According to a couple of sources, Republicans fear that having this referendum on the ballot will draw millions of dollars of union money into the state and make it difficult to keep control of the legislature. However, unions are a little overextended already. They’re fighting a losing battle next door to recall Governor Scott Walker, another in Arizona and Indiana over PEU and right-to-work reforms in those states, plus the spending they have to do to shore up Barack Obama’s re-election bid. This is actually the best time for the legislature to put this question before the voters of Minnesota, and to finish the lesson on extremism begun by Judge Lindman yesterday.

Update: In describing the poll on the right-to-work referendum, I neglected to add the important qualifier “among all demographics.” The omission made it appear that a majority of either Democrats or liberals support such legislation. In both cases, support gets a plurality. I’ve fixed it above.

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